Environmental hazard assessment

Water solubility

The study on the solubility in water of the test substance showed that the concentration in solution is below the detection limit of the analytical method (< 0.5 mg TOC/l). The results confirmed the empirical knowledge that activated coal is not soluble in water at all, nor is it soluble in other solvents.

Partition coefficient/bioaccumulation potential

The substance has no log Kow (substance is an inorganic substance or can be considered to behave as an inorganic substance) and its particles are not soluble in water. Also the substance size will hamper passing membranes as the substance consists of particles with sizes > 0.5 μm.


Activated carbons are refractory materials and not amenable to break down by any natural chemical or enzymatic processes. Activated carbon is only broken down under extreme conditions - such as heating under reflux with concentrated sulphuric acid/nitric acid mixtures - when the carbon will eventually oxidise to CO2. Activated carbon cannot be rendered into a soluble form capable of being absorbed. Therefore, activated carbon cannot find its way to any cell site where it could conceivably be biodegraded. Moreover, testing is not feasible because the substance is not soluble in water.

Environmental distribution

Activated carbons cannot be rendered into a soluble form capable of being absorbed. Adsorption/desorption studies are technically not feasible as the substance is not soluble in water or in organic solvents; and analysis is not possible because no distinction between C of activated carbons and C of sediment/soil can be made in the analysis. Furthermore activated carbons consist largely of elemental carbon and are chemically inert. No further abiotic degradation or biodegradation will occur.